Edwinstowe and Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve

This story and walk will take place within the Edwinstowe and Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, two locations that are tightly bound together and which are currently going through a moment of some recalibration.

If there is one location in Sherwood Forest that typifies the move from heavy industry to tourism it is Edwinstowe, as the legend of Robin Hood continues to bring people into the area and into the forest to search for the Major Oak.

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Yet with the new stewards of the forest, the RSPB, placing more of a focus on the trees within rather than its legends, there are some concerns that the area’s greatest intangible resource may not be being used quite as effectively as possible.

Robin Hood at St. Mary’s Church graveyard, ‘rescued’ from a skip during the redevelopment of the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre.

This will be a story that explores this move from an industrial economy to one based on tourism, where the sound of the pit hooter was replaced with the Tarzan cry of the Centre Parcs wave machine, and Welfare dances with the holiday camp firework displays which could be viewed from the Robin Hood pub carpark, every Wednesday and Sunday during bonfire season. If the impact of this new world of leisure really hit home ten years ago when a table appeared on the street outside the cob shop (‘what’s going on? This is very cosmopolitan’) and the house building in the village is escalating apace, then old legends continues to play their part with the stewards at St. Mary’s Church speaking ‘to people from 36 countries who had come here because of Robin Hood in the six months before the pandemic’.

Yet the impact on the town and the forest is a real one as the jays, owls and cuckoos are in retreat from the onward march of visitor numbers, and locals make sure they go for their daily walks first or last thing, because ‘its manic up there; its crammed out’.

The 2000 village pageant, memorialised in a stained glass window which can be seen in St. Mary’s Church.

We’ll be adding information here about events in this area, as well as how the work is shaping up and ways in which you can help soon.  So please do keep checking in.